A great podcast is made up of many components working together to make a phenomenally-sounding final product. From crafting stand-out content, to recording crystal clear audio, and promoting your show across various channels, a successful podcast really depends on accomplishing a whole lot of smaller tasks well. And one of those very important parts is the editing process. The editing process brings your ideas to life by weaving together the narrative you want to tell, and it helps fine-tune that delivery through the removal of anything that detracts from the core story. There’s no two ways about, editing is a vital part of the podcasting process.
And this magical editing process is only made possible through editing software. But with so many software options available, how do you pick the right one for you and your show?
We’re taking a look at 7 of the top editing software you can use to turn your podcast into an audio masterpiece. We’ve got options no matter what operating system you favor, your skill levels or your budget, so we’re confident the perfect software for you is in this mix!
Audacity is a free, open-source, cross-platform digital audio editor and recording computer software application, available for Windows, macOS/OS X, Linux and other operating systems. And according to these stats compiled by The Podcast Host in 2019, 48% of podcasters stated that they use Audacity to edit their podcast. That’s a pretty high percentage! And there are two main reasons for Audacity’s popularity. Number 1: It’s free, but more importantly, Number 2: It works really well and has effective cross-platform support. It also has a whole lot of audio features that are perfect for podcasters, whether veteran or newbie! From normalizing and adjusting audio levels to removing unwanted background noise, Audacity has you covered. Once you get the hang of the program, you’ll be able to easily edit out pauses and filler words, add intro and outro music and appropriate fades, and it can even capture your live recordings for you.
Audacity offers amazing editing features, allows you to edit multiple tracks of audio, besides offering a platform through which you can record and capture your audio. It really gives the podcaster everything they need to craft a high quality podcast. It can take time to learn the ropes and figure out how to get all the features to work for you, but once you nail these (and there are plenty of tutorials online) you’ll be editing your podcast like a pro in no time. And the fact that you can get access to all of this for free further tips the scales in favor of this editing software.
2. Adobe Audition
Referencing the above-mentioned statistics again, we find that second to Audacity in popularity is Adobe Audition, with 31% of podcasters stating that they use this software to edit their podcasts. This software is also available for both Windows and macOS, but it is a paid software, and many consider Adobe Audition a premium option. It is perfect for the podcasters who understand and love audio editing, and are willing to invest in the software to add it to their podcasting toolbox. It’s got tons of great features, which means that you can really create some amazing-sounding podcast episodes! At its core, Adobe Audition is a comprehensive toolset that includes multitrack, waveform, and spectral display for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content. Their powerful audio workstation is designed to accelerate video production workflows and audio finishing, delivering a polished mix with pristine sound.
And while it is certainly classed as a professional editing software, and does require some specialist knowledge, there are many easy-to-follow tutorials available online to equip you with the skills you need to use all the features the software has to offer.
If you’re using Apple products, then you have a free fully-equipped music creation studio right at your fingertips. GarageBand comes pre-installed on most new Apple products and can be found for free in the App Store. GarageBand has an intuitive modern design, making it easy to learn, play, record, create and, of course, share your podcast worldwide. The software even comes with a complete sound library, making it easy to add these to your podcast episodes. You can create multiple tracks with premade MIDI keyboards, pre-made loops, an array of various instrumental effects, and voice recordings. The software has tons of helpful recording and editing features that make this perfect for podcasters of all skill levels.
GarageBand has some really great editing features, and is simple to use, but there are plenty of online tutorials and short courses available to help you ace all the tips and tricks in no time. So if you’re an Apple user, it’s a great choice to help you create some outstanding episodes.
Descript is one of the newer editing softwares on the market, but it’s quickly gaining a really positive reputation. Descript takes editing software to a whole new level. It’s a collaborative audio and video editor that treats audio editing like you would a text-based document. It also includes transcription, a screen recorder, publishing, full multitrack editing, and some mind-bendingly useful AI tools! This approach of editing audio as you would text is innovative, and makes it super easy to get stellar sounding podcast episodes. You can also simply drag and drop to add music and sound effects.
Descript is paid software, but as it is a desktop app, it’s compatible with both Windows as well as MacOs. It has a simple, intuitive interface and layout, making it relatively easy to get a handle on all the available tools and features.
Alitu is branded as the “easiest way to edit a podcast” and it certainly lives up to that motto. One of the keys to Alitu’s popularity is due to the fact that it was created by podcasters, for podcasters to help automate the technical side of editing. And in that vein, they’ve got great features that automate loads of the technical stuff. Alitu can automatically convert and clean up your audio, saving you loads of time and hassle, allowing you to focus on making your show the best that it can be. Their simple but powerful tools can help you easily remove any mistakes, add your own music, and you can even add fades for that extra polish. And best of all, it really is super easy to use! No audio engineering degree necessary in order to make a studio-quality show with Alitu!
Alitu is a paid software, and it definitely can help you quickly and easily edit and polish your podcast episodes. But keep in mind that the power of all this automation does mean that you lose the ability to make custom changes and edits. But if all your raw audio needs is a little tweaking, this could be the editing software for you!
6. Hindenburg Journalist
Hindenburg Journalist is another paid for software, but as it is considered pro-level, it more than delivers! It has everything you need in terms of editing software, and has the added bonus of being easy to use with intuitive features. It is a multitrack audio editor designed for podcasters, as well as other audio editors, and has all the editing tools you need conveniently in one place. You can easily cut, copy, paste, replace, insert your audio, and all the other tools put the control of the editing process firmly in your hands. You can make all the sound tweaks you’d like and it even has a special feature, the Voice Profilers, which can automatically create an EQ to give you that out-of-the-speakers sound, not to mention the built-in equalisation and compression tools.
Hindenburg Journalist works equally well on both Windows and MacOs, and another one of it’s pros is that not only does it make it easier for you to capture recordings, but it also has features that make recording interviews that much easier. Which is no real surprise, as the design and features of this software have been specifically tailored to spoken-word productions, with a particular focus on storytelling. So if your podcast falls into this category, the price of this software may be well worth it.
7. Pro Tools
Number 7 is Pro Tools. This is a digital audio workstation developed and released by Avid Technology for Microsoft Windows and macOS, which can be used for a wide range of sound recording and sound production purposes. Pro Tools would be classified as more advanced than some of the other software options on this list, and so would cater more to established podcasters who are looking to expand to a more in-depth software. Pro Tools is also more exclusive as it only runs on specific Pro Tools rated hardware. It is a high-end product with loads of features and capabilities, and it does offer some serious features, but all these high-end features mean that a developed editing skill set and more specialized knowledge is needed to operate the software effectively.
But if you’re looking to make a name for your podcast using the “best of the best”, and you have some professional recording experience, then Pro Tools might just be the right solution for you and your podcast. Pro Tools offers three versions. Pro Tools First, which is free, and then Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate, both of which are paid options.
Great sounding podcasts are made on the editing floor. Yes, you need valuable, well-thought-out content and high quality raw recordings, but it is the editing that allows these two aspects to truly shine. And with such a wide variety of editing software on the market, you really are spoiled for choice, no matter what your editing skill level! As the podcast industry continues to grow, we’re certain more and more options will become available, both in new and improved software, as well as in the tutorials and guides designed to help any podcaster hone their editing skills. Check out the 7 top software we’ve shared on this list, pick the one that’s the right fit for you and your podcast, and you’ll be editing your episodes like one of the pros in no time.